Always in her heart. Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, shared a heartfelt tribute to the disgraced athlete on the three-year anniversary of his suicide.
“’The love between father and daughter knows no distance,’” the 30-year-old captioned a black-and-white photo of the father holding his then-newborn daughter, Avielle. With a red heart and a broken heart emoji, she added, “We think of you today. May you rest in peace and continue to watch over us! #AH81 #foreverinourhearts.”
The former tight end died on April 19, 2017, after he hung himself in his jail cell with a bedsheet. He was discovered in the early hours of the morning before he was transported to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Law enforcement officials said he did not leave a suicide note and did not exhibit behavior that required him to be on suicide watch. He was only 27 years old when he took his own life.
At the time, Hernandez was serving a life sentence after he was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Odin Lloyd in 2013. The two had become acquaintances as Lloyd was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancée. Lloyd’s body was found about a mile from Hernandez’s home with several gunshot wounds to the chest. He was arrested in June 2013 and later found guilty in April 2015. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Homicide detective Michele Wood believes Hernandez murdered out of “paranoia,” she exclusively told In Touch in January. “I think he’s one of those people that just acts out at the moment and it’s one of those situations. It obviously wasn’t planned out because if it was planned out, he wouldn’t have left his body out the way he did. I mean, they found his body right away,” she explained of the Lloyd case. “This wasn’t some big plot of a murder. It seemed like he was reckless and it seemed like it wasn’t planned.”
Several professionals attribute his erratic behavior to his drug use and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which is caused by repeated head injuries. “I think he’s crazy,” Woods said. “When you smoke leaf it literally makes you crazy and I think he was paranoid, and I think in addition to whatever crisis he was in because of using drugs — the injuries to his head, the CTE, I heard that it was the worst it was ever seen in anyone his age.”
Hernandez also was charged with two counts of murder in 2014 for the deaths of two men outside of a Boston nightclub in 2012. He was ultimately acquitted for the two additional killings. Hernandez killed himself just five days after his acquittal on those charges.
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